Equally contributing authors.
Research Methodology: Discussion Paper – Methodology
Differences in methodological quality between positive and negative published clinical trials
Article first published online: 24 MAR 2014
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Journal of Advanced Nursing
Volume 70, Issue 10, pages 2389–2403, October 2014
How to Cite
2014) Differences in methodological quality between positive and negative published clinical trials. Journal of Advanced Nursing 70(10), 2389–2403. doi: 10.1111/jan.12380, , & (
- Issue published online: 11 SEP 2014
- Article first published online: 24 MAR 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 FEB 2014
- clinical trial;
- evidence-based nursing;
- methodological quality;
- nursing practice;
- nursing research;
- professional issues;
- publication bias
Comparison of methodological quality differences in nursing clinical trials with positive and negative findings.
The growth of nursing publications and increased reliance on data to guide clinical care make publication quality assessment imperative. One major concern is the tendency for more studies with positive findings to be published, potentially resulting in the publication of lower quality trials.
Secondary analysis of published trials to compare studies with positive and negative findings in terms of clinical trial quality and sample size calculation methodology.
Twenty articles each from three major nursing journals (Journal of Clinical Nursing, Journal of Advanced Nursing and International Journal of Nursing Studies) for the years 2010–2012. We assessed article quality in terms of Jadad scores, methods and total sample size.
Implications for Nursing
This article underscores the importance of nurses and nursing students having the ability to assess the quality of published trials, so that they can make appropriate judgments on the implementation of care for patients as the use of evidence-based practice increases.
Potential differences in methodological quality between positive and negative trials may lead to positive trials with biased results, or discrimination against negative trials. The CONSORT is recommended, but use is still limited. Therefore, it is important to reinforce the use of these guidelines to supply readers with information on the quality of the published trials. The combination of authors publishing higher quality trials and deeper reader knowledge of quality assessment can have important clinical consequences.